Suns start road trip at Dallas
(Sports Network) - Two of the top teams in the Western Conference square off tonight, as the Dallas Mavericks welcome the Phoenix Suns to American Airlines Center.
This is the second time this season that the clubs have met. On November 1st, All-Star Dirk Nowitzki scored 28 points and grabbed 15 rebounds, as Dallas outlasted Phoenix 111-108 in double overtime in the season-opener for both teams at America West Arena.
In last year's playoffs Phoenix eliminated the Mavericks in an entertaining six games during the Western Conference semifinals.
The Suns have dropped two straight games and play the first of a three-game road trip. On Monday, J.R. Smith led a balanced attack with 26 points and 10 rebounds, as the New Orleans/Oklahoma City Hornets stunned Phoenix, 91-87, at America West Arena.
Raja Bell had 24 points in the loss to the Hornets the Suns, who had an eight- game homecourt winning streak snapped. Reigning MVP Steve Nash struggled from the field, shooting just 5-of-13, but did have 16 assists to go with his 14 points.
Shawn Marion finished with 12 points and 10 rebounds on Monday for the Suns, while Kurt Thomas contributed 12 points and eight rebounds in defeat.
Phoenix is 4-2 on the road this season. The Suns will visit the Hornets on Friday and Memphis on Saturday in the finale of the current road trip.
Dallas, which plays the second of a five-game homestand, will also try to get back on the winning track this evening. On Monday, superstar Kobe Bryant scored 43 points and hit a wild go-ahead three-pointer with 34.9 seconds left to boost the Los Angeles Lakers to a 109-106 victory over the Mavericks at American Airlines Center.
Nowitzki totaled 27 points and 15 rebounds in the loss to the Lakers for the Mavericks, who had their five-game winning streak halted. Marquis Daniels added 23 points and Jason Terry scored 20, but missed a potential tying three- pointer at the buzzer.
The Mavericks are 7-3 at home this season. They will also host Phoenix, Orlando and Minnesota on the current stand.
The road team has won four straight and five of the last six meetings in this series, while the host has won nine of 14 and 12 of the last 18 contests. The Suns have won two straight after losing their last seven at Dallas.DAL PHO